Micro Fat Grafting, Fat Transfer, and Fat Injection, are synonymous terms. They are used to describe a technique that utilizes fat from one part of the body to be used as a natural filler for another part of the body or the face, resulting in a more youthful and enhanced appearance.Fat transfer is an important component in facial rejuvenation. A lifting procedure (e.g.Facelift) will re-elevate and tighten sagged tissues, but will not restore the fullness lost with aging. For this, Fat Grafting is necessary.

The most common areas for fat injection in the face:

  • Cheeks
  • Lips
  • Nasolabial folds (smile lines)
  • Marionette lines (corners of mouth)
  • Upper eyelids
  • Temples
  • Lower eyelids

Who can benefit from Micro Fat Grafting?

Patients who undergo fat grafting in the face can be either young or old.

Younger patients tend to used fat injection as a means for plumping an area that can benefit from volume augmentation:

  • For fuller lips
  • For the appearance of higher cheekbones

Older patients tend to use fat grafting to restore areas that have lost fat due to the aging process, to correct:

  • Deep smile lines (nasolabial folds)
  • Deep lines at the corners of the mouth (marionette lines)
  • Hollowness of the upper eyelids
  • Hollowness of the lower eyelids
  • Hollow temples
  • Sunken cheeks
  • Thin lips

Issues to Consider about Fat Grafting

Fat is natural filler than can be used for augmentation or restoration. The fat is taken from your own body, so there is no concern about rejection, or transmission of disease.

Fat can be harvested wherever there is excess fat; the most popular places are from theabdomen, love handles, and outer thighs.

Some amount of resorption (the transferred fat melting away) does occur despite our best effort to maximize graft survival; a certain degree of over correction may be done to compensate for this effect.

Fat graftings has also been shown to improve the skin’s quality and texture over areas that have been grafted. The exact reasons for this phenomenon are not well understood, but are believed to be related to the abundance of stem cells that are found within the grafted fat.

Incisions for Fat Injection

Fat transfer involves two steps:

  1. the harvest and
  2. the grafting

Fortunately, both steps require only very small puncture wounds, in order to allow for small blunt needles to pass. Each puncture is less than 1 mm in size. Once the incisions have healed, they should almost be invisible.

Facial Fat Transfer Procedure Details

The surgeons perform Fat transfer to the face under general anesthesia, or IV sedation. During the time you are under general anesthesia, you will be asleep and completely unaware of the surroundings.

We begin the Fat Transfer procedure first by harvesting the fat. A small blunt needle is used to remove the fat in a process similar to Liposuction. Once enough fat is harvested (typically one to three ounces), it is processed and prepared for surgical transfer. The surgeons take the prepared fat that is put into multiple small syringes, and meticulously introduces the fat into area(s) of need, placing tiny amounts at a time to achieve a natural, non-operated look. The cheeks, upper lids, lips, temples, and smile lines tend to be the most popular area for facial fat grafting. After the Fat transfer, you are gently awakened from anesthesia.

Recovery after Facial Fat Transfer

You will be allowed to go home following surgery, after the effects of anesthesia have largely worn off, accompanied by your friend or family member.

At home, sleep in a reclining chair, or use multiple pillows to keep your head elevated when you sleep. This helps decrease facial swelling. Pain is typically mild. Pain medication will be prescribed, and can be used during this time. You should try to rest and relax as much as possible during the first week. You may do non-strenuous activities such as reading and watching television. You may have bruising in the first 1-2 weeks and there will be moderate swelling.